BBC director-general Lord Hall says his ‘personal priority’ is for Beeb to become less ‘London-centric’ as he fights back against Boris Johnson’s plans to overhaul the corporation
- Lord Hall has said making the BBC less ‘London-centric’ is his ‘personal priority’
- Boris Johnson is said to be considering launching a review of the licence fee
- iPlayer received more than 100 million requests in the week of Christmas
BBC director-general Lord Hall has said making the Beeb less ‘London-centric’ is his ‘personal priority’ – as he pushes back against the prime minister’s plans to overhaul the corporation.
Questions over the BBC’s future have been raised since the general election with Boris Johnson reported to be looking into consulting on whether people who don’t pay the licence fee should be prosecuted.
In a bid to keep viewers onside ahead of any review, Lord Hall doubled down on quotes he made in March last year about ensuring the BBC was doing more outside of the capital.
BBC director-general Lord Hall has said making the Beeb less ‘London-centric’ is his ‘personal priority’ – as he pushes back against the prime minister’s plans to overhaul the corporation
He also highlighted the ‘need to continue to take the fight to fake news’ and the importance of attracting more young viewers.
Elsewhere in his New Year message to BBC employees, Lord Hall said the broadcaster should ’embrace’ increased scrutiny following accusations of bias.
The corporation was accused of political bias by both the left and the right in the weeks leading up to the general election.
Lord Hall urged employees to respond to scrutiny ‘with confidence and without complacency’.
He wrote: ‘Finally, a word about some of the recent debate around the BBC.
‘As the country’s national broadcaster we know the BBC will always be the subject of legitimate scrutiny. We also know this can at times arouse strong passions.
‘We work for an institution people genuinely care about. We should embrace this scrutiny – as indeed we always have – with confidence and without complacency.
His message also revealed that iPlayer received more than 100 million requests in the week of Christmas – up by a third on last year’s number
‘I profoundly believe the BBC’s values and our output have never mattered more to Britain at this point in its history and that we have never been more relevant to the times we are living through.’
His message also revealed that iPlayer received more than 100 million requests in the week of Christmas – up by a third on last year’s number.
He wrote: ‘We are also starting to give people the iPlayer they want and deserve – with our best ever Christmas week, breaking 100 million requests, up by well over a third on last year’s figures.
‘We’ve wanted to improve iPlayer for a long time but have been held up by regulation. We’ve now got past that and are offering more box sets as well as making programmes available for longer.
‘The verdict from audiences is clear: 2019 has been a record year with programme requests topping four billion for the first time. We must now go even further.’